Math! 3 triples + 2 singles + 1 double = 0 runs

November 5th, 2020
Art by Tom Forget

Besides sounding like a character straight out of a Star Wars movie, Jot Goar didn't have much else going for him during his brief baseball career. It's hard to even find any actual photos of the 19th-century pitcher, just this print of his face on a chewing gum pin.

Goar pitched 13 1/3 innings for the Pirates in 1896 -- putting up a 16.88 ERA. He then had an even shorter stint with the Reds two years later, posting a 9.00 ERA over two innings.

But Goar did have a couple of great moments in the Minor Leagues. The first was when he went 25-9 with a 1.39 ERA for the Indianapolis Indians in 1897 -- inspiring this lovely bit of prose from the Kansas City Journal.

"Jot Goar was largely responsible (for the win). In the thick wads of muscle that dwells in layers upon his stout right arm lingered the cunning of a Breitenstein and the speed of a Rusie."

(Theodore Breitenstein and Amos Rusie were great big league pitchers at the time).

But before all of that, in 1890, Joshua Mercer Goar executed perhaps the most impossible feat in baseball history against the Anderson Tigers in the Indiana State League. Not even Houdini or MacGyver could've escaped from the situation the right-hander put himself into.

Goar came into a game and allowed six hits -- three triples, one double and two singles ... but he gave up exactly zero runs.

Zero. Nothing. Zilch. Think about that: three men got to third base and none of them scored! Even after the next three guys hit a double and two singles!

How does something this ridiculous happen? Well, according to this snippet from The Toronto Globe, this is how. As Samuel L. Jackson might say, hold onto your butts.


The first batter, Benjamin Ireland, hit a triple. Next up was Ed Wiswell. There was a wild pitch, Ireland tried to score and was tagged out at home.

1 triple. 1 out.

Wiswell then hit a triple and was tagged out trying to stretch it into an inside-the-park homer.

2 triples. 2 outs.

A third batter and a third triple. This time it was Rush Shumway (I swear these names are real).

3 triples.

Next up, Gene Derby. Derby laid a bunt down the third-base line and the third baseman followed it, hoping it would roll foul. It didn't. Derby got to second for the always exciting bunt double and Shumway remained at third on the play.

1 double.

Next, another bunt. This time just a single. Gene Fatz beat it out to first and neither runner advanced.

1 single.

And then, with the bases loaded, Frank Fear hit a "vicious" liner -- as only someone named Frank Fear could -- to right. It hit Fatz in the arm while he was off the bag. Fatz was out, but, according to MLB Rule 5.05, Fear is still awarded a single.

1 single, 3 outs, inning over.


There you have it. It sounds like a baseball riddle, but that's how a team hits three triples, one double and two singles in one inning and scores zero runs.

So, the next time you get angry that your favorite team couldn't get a runner in from third with less than two outs, remember the Anderson Tigers. Remember the great and powerful Jot Goar.